By Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilorin
The three tiers of government in Nigeria as well as Nigerian people have been enjoined to embrace afforestation, while doing away with unnecessary deforestation.
Prof. Paul Ojo Fatoba of the Department of Plant Biology, University of Ilorin, who gave the admonition at the 183rd Inaugural Lecture of the institution, said afforestation is the most appropriate approach to arrest climate change “as the green plants are the space vehicles and have the capacity to act as carbon sinks, thus reducing the greenhouse gas”, admonishing that when a tree is felled, at least two stands of such a tree should be planted.
Prof. Fatoba, whose lecture was entitled, ‘The Unrecognised Are Also Important’, said: “The unrecognised are also important. For example, the dynamics of this world is being kept moving through the activities of the seen and unseen, plants and animals, living and non living things. Therefore, there is the need to accord everything and every person due recognition because everybody and everything are important. Even if only for the purification of the atmosphere, all plants deserve recognition.
“Plants are very important in the purification and the making of the environment clean and safe.”
Urging prudent use of forest resources so as to reduce the loss of biodiversity, the Inaugural Lecturer said industries should evolve strategies that are environmentally friendly by reducing the emissions of gaseous and particulate matters, and treat industrial wastes before their release into the environment.
He cautioned against farming along the roadsides, saying any farming activity should be at least 20 metres away from the road.
Prof. Fatoba said we should learn to recognise everything around us because they are all important, adding that this would help in decoding the messages in them as plants, he said, complain and have some coded messages.
The teak plants along the mainroad, he cautioned, should only be weeded while others should be left so that the seedlings and saplings can survive thus increasing the stands and the smothering of the weeds. All the teak stands, he added, need to be pruned so as to increase their economic value.